Another Dark Day for Baseball – Ortiz Linked to PED’s

By Jason Klein

Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 7/30/09

Cowboy Down.

David Ortiz, the face of the 2004 and 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox, is the latest name connected to the, once anonymous, 2003 performance enhancing drug test, according to a New York Times Report.  Ortiz joins Alex RodriguezBarry Bonds, and Sammy Sosa as the most prominent names to come out from that list of 104 names.  Former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez, who already served a 50 game suspensionthis year for his use of PED’s, was also on the 2003 list, according to today’s report

Maybe they were a bunch of “Idiots” after all.

Confirmation of Ortiz’s link to steroids comes as a mild surprise to those who follow the game.  One of the most likable players in the game, prior to 2003, Ortiz’s highest home run total came in 2002 with Minnesota when he finished with just 20 home runs.  The following season, the year he reportedly tested positive, he jumped to 31 home runs.  From 2004-2007, Ortiz blasted 41, 47, 54, & 35 respectively.  Evidence of a hitter “coming into his own,” or did Ortiz have some artificial assistance?

In the two seasons following the release of the Mitchell Report in December 2007, Ortiz’s power numbers have suffered dramatically.  With today’s announcement, his lack of production in recent years appears to be no coincidence, especially to steroid guru, and former Major Leaguer, Jose Canseco.

When asked his thoughts on today’s announcements, Canseco scoffed: “When you tell me something I didn’t already know, I’ll be surprised.”

Though fans have always been suspicious of Ortiz, many who know him personally were blown away by the news.

“This hurts, this really hurts,” former Twins teammate Tori Hunter told ESPN.  “I don’t know what to think about this. I guess you just never know what people do in the dark.”

When confronted by members of the media on Thursday, Ortiz refused to comment on the situation.  What could he say?  With each revelation, fans are numbed to the fact that the entire era is tainted.  It is impossible to decipher who did it and who didn’t simply based on those who have been outed.  Instead, all players are guilty by association.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s the reality.

To paraphrase from the great Jerry Seinfeld, today we learned that back in 2003, Papi was a little sloppy.  There are many responsible for this Major League-sized mess, though.  Ortiz is just the latest superstar caught.

It’s another dark day for baseball.  Another Cowboy down.

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